UK starts getting Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy S II

UK starts getting Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy S II

Summary: Samsung has finally started upgrading Galaxy S II handsets in the UK with the most recent version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, months after it went out in other regions


Samsung has started rolling out the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Galaxy S II handsets in the UK, though people who have the smartphone on a subscription plan will have to wait for operators to start pushing it out.

Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung has finally started upgrading Galaxy S II handsets in the UK with Ice Cream Sandwich. Photo credit: Bonnie Cha/CNET News

In addition, the South Korean phone maker has delivered an open-source version of its take on Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), enabling people to make their own modifications to the OS.

"Samsung UK can confirm that the rollout of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on Galaxy S II will be available from the week commencing 19th March," the company said on its Facebook page. "However, the availability of software upgrades in the UK will be dependent upon each network's own software approvals process."

O2, Orange, Vodafone, Three and T-Mobile all offer the Galaxy S II on subscription plans. "We're working to make our build available as close to Samsung's release date as possible," T-Mobile told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. None of the other operators had responded to a request for their delivery window at the time of writing. People with SIM-free, non-operator specific versions of the device do not usually have to wait to download operating system updates.

The Android platform upgrade, announced by Samsung in November, has taken several months to reach Galaxy S II owners in the UK. On 8 March, Samsung said it had started the update process in some countries, but it had "no specific schedule for rollout in the EMEA region".

In its Facebook post, the company said an ICS update for its Galaxy Note, S II LTE and Tab 8.9 and 10.1 tablet devices "will follow soon".

Also on Monday, Samsung posted an open-source version of the ICS platform to its open-source directory. The release is intended for European handsets only and will allow modders to create their own builds, ROMs and other tweaks using the platform. Previously, Samsung had made Gingerbread builds of the operating system for the handset available via the repository. 

Unlike official Google-sanctioned versions of Android, some components are not included in the open-source version of the platform. Gmail, Google Play — formerly called the Android Market — and Google Maps are all non-open source apps, for example, that come included on most Google-certified Android devices as part of the operating system.

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Topics: Mobility, Smartphones

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Firstly Samsung are Korean. Also Sim Free has not been released regardless what Samsung have said, it is NOT available. Three have Launched it, Sim Free are being Abused by Samsung and I am fed up of reading lies from Cnet and Zdnet. The reviews are always way wrong and the stories way out. 0/10 for this write up.
  • Dear SamsungUKangry: Thanks for alerting us to the error as to Samsung's home country - we have now corrected it.

    As to your second query, could you please clarify? People can buy the Galaxy SII in the UK without a SIM from a number of retailers, including Expansys and Amazon. If you are saying that the upgrade has not been delivered to SIM-free phones yet, this may well be: Samsung has said only that it is beginning the process.

    If those answers don't cover your issue, please reply and let us know what we can clear up for you.

    Thanks, Karen
    Karen Friar
  • Can I update my Galaxy s2 even if I'm outside UK?
  • I bought my samsung galaxy s2 sim free, pay as you go and I am still yet to receive the update. Tried via kies 2.0 and through my phones settings menu.

    What a disappointment they have kept us waiting long enough and now I hear that the three network has rolled it out before anyone else and have even added upgrades to it! WTF!!
  • I too have a SIM Free SGS2 which I got from Pixmania. No update via phone or via KIES even though those with 3 are getting the update. Why is it not available to SIM free?
  • Got mine from Expansys and am also still waiting for update via Kies and/or phone update.
  • I had 8910i ,a great phone. Samsung never updated this on orange. Now I I buy sum free they do the same to sum free!